Drawbridge: Saginaw River Bridge, Bay City, MI - (LSRC)

This swing bridge is currently used by the Lake States Railway between Bay City and North Bay City, crossing the Saginaw River was built in 1896. The bridge is described in 1903 as 220 feet in length and made of steel truss construction. The bridge is 12 feet above water level, and the river is 32 feet deep at the location. The bridge was swung by engine power. Permission to cross was signed by the bridge tender with red and white signals.

In earlier days under Detroit & Mackinac operation, the bridge was used by the C&O to deliver interchange traffic with the Detroit & Mackinac Railway. It was said to be owned jointly by the D&M and Pere Marquette when it was built..

The Pere Marquette also used this bridge to reach their beltline in North Bay CIty.

Time Line

April 12, 1896. Work is well under way on the Detroit & Mackinac bridge across the Saginaw River in the 10th Ward. The first abutment on the north side of the river has been started and there is sufficient stone cut so that there will be no delay when the masonry begins. The contract for the substructure has been let to M. J. Griffin of Detroit. The superstructure is also underway in the shops so that it will be ready to put up as soon as the piers are finished. [DFP-1896-0412].

1910. The swing span of the bridge was struck by the barge G. K. Jackson, which nearly knocked it off its abutments.

August 8, 1910. Repairs to the Detroit & Mackinac railway bridge are being rushed as fast as possible. By using a scow and the tug Witch, the swing span, which was knocked off its center and almost dumped into the Saginaw river by the barge G. K. Jackson, has been replaced on the pier. The center piece will be cast in Detroit and shipped here, and soon as it is placed under the swing, the bridge can be brought back into commission. [DFP-1910-0817]